Ice Caves and Historic Railroad Tracks

A bridge over the Stillaguamish River.

A bridge over the Stillaguamish River on the Big Four Ice Cave Trail.

The Mountain Loop Highway in Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest has over 1,500 miles of hiking trails, pristine lakes and rivers, gushing waterfalls and majestic mountains. There are a variety of hiking levels and the best person to ask about which hike to take is Edith at Green Gables. She’s been hiking the area for over 35 years. After talking with her I decided to do a couple of day hikes -Big Four Ice Caves Trail and Old Robe Trail.

Read more at “Hike to Ice Caves and Historic Railroad Tracks” at The Crossing Guide.

I must issue this warning. DO NOT hike under or near the ice caves. They do collapse and this summer that resulted in one death. 

Winslow, Washington Is Only A Ferry Ride Away From the Emerald City

The Japanese American Exclusion Memorial Wall honors 276 Japanese Americans who were removed from Bainbridge Island to a relocation center in California.

The Japanese American Exclusion Memorial Wall honors 276 Japanese Americans who were removed from Bainbridge Island to a relocation center in California.

Every time I stroll down the streets of Winslow on Bainbridge Island I’m always enchanted by its sophisticated charms. Aromatic bakeries, local-inspired food, eclectic shops, historic attractions, museums, and a performing arts center, give Winslow a cosmopolitan flare without the hustle and bustle of the Emerald City–which is a 35-minute ferry ride across Puget Sound.

Read more at “Destination Winslow” at Waggoner’s Pacific Northwest Boating.

Sailing on SUVA in Penn Cove #whidbeyisland #boating

Captain Mark Saia fondly calls Suva the Goldilocks boat as she's the perfect fit for Coupeville.

Captain Mark Saia fondly calls SUVA the Goldilocks boat because she’s the perfect fit for Coupeville.

Sailing into October

In August, I got to spend a day on the water with SUVA, a 90 year-old schooner. The skies were clear, the water calm, and everyone had a relaxing time. During October, the Coupeville Maritime Heritage Foundation is offering sails on their treasured heritage vessel. The sails are by donation, $50 for 2-hours, and this sailor is ready to for another voyage.

Read more at “Sailing into the Deep Blue,” at The Crossing Guide.

Home2Suites Let’s You Be You #travel #traveltuesday

Outside Firepit

Relax with your favorite libation at the outdoor lounge.

If you find yourself in need a place to stay in Bellingham, Wa. I highly recommend Home2Suites by Hilton. The vibe is hip. The choices green. And, the philosophy encourages guests to be themselves while away from home. My favorite amenities–the saline pool and outdoor lounge with a fireplace.

Read more at, “Free To Be You” at Home2Suites” at The Crossing Guide.

A Glimpse into Anacortes Fishing History at the Anacortes Maritime Center

Funks Photos Museum

Admission is free to the Anacortes Maritime Museum.

Wallie Funk’s Fishing Photo Exhibit” at the Anacortes Maritime Heritage Center brings to life an Anacortes rite of passage―salmon fishing on an Alaska-bound purse seiner. The exhibit evolved from the production of the museum’s new book, Pictures of the Past: Celebrating 125 Years of Anacortes History by Wallie Funk, which is a photographic journey selected from Funk’s photos and articles.

Read more at “Go Fishing into History,” at  Anacortes Scene.

Go Fly a Kite at the Whidbey Island Kite Festival Sept. 19 & 20

Kites fill the skies on a blustery day at Fort Casey Historical Park.

Kites fill the skies on a blustery day at Fort Casey Historical Park.

Whidbey Island Kite Festival This Weekend!

Kites, kites and more kites will fill the skies this weekend at the Whidbey Island Kite Festival September 19 and 20 on the parade grounds at Camp Casey. It’s free to come and watch; all they ask is a $1 donation for parking. An array of kite activities will take place throughout the weekend including competitions, mass accessions, kiting games and kite making classes. Bring a picnic lunch, or buy hot dogs, sodas, coffee and snacks on-site from Central Whidbey Lions Club and The Kauffe Hause.

Read more at, “Send it Soaring at the Whidbey Island Kite Festival,” at Whidbey Life Magazine

Seaside History on Whidbey Island: Fort Casey and Admiralty Head Lighthouse

DC Gun

There are two 10″ D.C. rifles at Fort Casey Historical Park. One has battle scars from Japanese fire. 

Fort Casey Historical Park and Admiralty Head Lighthouse 

This summer I got to feed my passion for history by spending two days at Fort Casey Historical Park, which also includes Admiralty Head Lighthouse. I was blown away by the history of the lighthouse which goes back to 1860. And, in 1897 the fort was built to protect the Naval Shipyard in Bremerton. I’d definitely recommend attending the summer docent led battery tours (a shout out to Dick Malone), which really enhanced the entire experience. Even my teenage step-daughter enjoyed herself.

Read more at, “History Next to the Sea: Fort Casey Historical Park on Whidbey Island,” at The Crossing Guide.

Stars, Sunsets and the San Juans:Camping In Washington Park in Anacortes

Swimmers at Sunset Beach

Sun worshipers cool off in the water at Sunset Beach on a hot summer day.

Washington Park in Anacortes is a Summer Must

This summer, we’ve had plenty of warm and sunny days to camp in the Pacific Northwest. One of my favorite spots is Washington Park in Anacortes. It has wooded campsites, a beach, hiking trails and amazing views. It’s location, 4 miles away from downtown Anacortes and 8 miles away from Deception Pass Bridge, makes it an ideal base camp for exploring the area.

Read more at, “Under the Starry Sky: Camping at Washington Park in Anacortes” at The Crossing Guide.

History and Relaxation at Fort Casey Inn on Whidbey Island

Junior officers shared porches

History and Relaxation

This summer I discovered that life moves at a slower tempo at Fort Casey Inn on Whidbey Island. I relished every minute and thoroughly enjoyed sitting on the porch and giving my mind some serious down time. Not only is it peaceful, but there is a historic lighthouse, fort and magnificent sunsets. 

Read more at “Fort Casey Inn: History, Silence and Sunsets” at The Crossing Guide.

Kayaking in Spring Bay on Orcas Island

Kayak 1

I couldn’t have asked for glassier water in Spring Bay on Orcas Isalnd

Kayaking on Orcas Island

This summer I finally visited Ocras Island. You are probably asking the same question I am, “Why did it take me ten years to get here?” One of my island adventures was kayaking with Spring Bay Kayak Tours. It’s a little off the beaten track, but the setting and knowledgeable guide, Sandy Playa, were amazing.

Read more at, “Spring Bay Kayaking” at The Crossing Guide